The Road Gets a Little Bumpier

Jason Strudwick
September 23 2013 09:33AM

Saturday night, in a preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks there was a stupid stick swinging incident involving the Canucks Zack Kassian. The result has really put a dent in the Oilers ability to have a strong start to this season.

Sam Gagner was hit by Kassian's stick in the mouth and by all reports he will miss a yet to be determined number of regular season games thanks to a broken jaw. The timing of this is very frustrating for any player.

All players work very hard in the summer to be fine tuned to get off to a good start. Hours in the gym and on the ice make sure they are ready to go. There is never a good time to be injured but I always felt that getting hurt in preseason was brutal.

The rest of the NHL continues right along and a player injured in exhibition is left behind. It is inevitable that Gagner will lose the fine edge he was worked on all summer. His level of conditioning will be challenged in two ways:

One, I would not expect a lot of training for him while the injury is acute. Two, his calorie and diet intake will be altered. After losing teeth and breaking your jaw would you feel like consuming the necessary calories to maintain your weight and energy levels?

I once took a puck to the mouth the morning after our team's rookie party (great times by the way). The dentist described the state of my mouth like this... "it looks like a grenade went off on your lips." Not what I wanted to hear, especially after a late night. A bunch of teeth were loose and I had to wear a brace across my top row of teeth. I lived on soup and protein shakes for a few weeks. Until I could eat whole foods again I was losing weight faster then Gregor was losing his hair at the age of eighteen.

This isn't good news for Gagner. In time he will get to the level he wants to be but it will not be right away. I know how competitive he is and the high expectations he puts on himself. The longer his down time, the longer it will take for him to get back to playing at his self imposed high level.

For the Oilers, the Gagner injury will leave them without their top two centers to start the season. Due to the Olympic break the Oilers have a full month of games in October. Wins will be harder to come by without both Gagner and Nuge. Take the top two centers off any team and that team will struggle.

As for Zach Kassian this was a very stupid play. I honestly don't understand how his stick could end up hitting Gagner in the face. I feel that a player is always responsible for his stick. Always. I do not think it was by accident that it flew up and hit Gagner in the face. It was on or near the ice and then flies up? Makes no sense to me.

The Consequences

Kassian will probably be suspended. If I am the Oilers why do I care about that? It doesn't bring back Gagner any sooner. One, two, 5, 10 games...doesn't make a difference. Even for the Canucks, at this stage in Kassian's development their team will move on without him.

I think the issue is with the lack of overall toughness in the Oilers lineup. Players like Kassian have no fear in playing the Oilers extra tough. Who outside of Mike Brown can stand up to a guy like Kassian or Andrew Alberts? Both these guys were running around Saturday night in Edmonton like there was no reason to be afraid! They're big guys, but nothing to lose sleep over unless a team like the Oilers doesn't have guys to match up to them with.

I know Edmonton got a lot of power plays against the Canucks Saturday. The plan is to score on those PP attempts frequently enough that the opponent will have to tone down the physical play. I get that, but at some point doesn't the team need to have the ability to stand up for itself?

When is enough enough? And when they get to that point who will be the guy to do it? I really like Brown as a player, he played very well saturday, but it is unfair to ask one undersized guy to fight the whole team's battles. I am not saying go out and bring in a Steve MacIntyre type player, just bring in someone who can play and step up when needed.

Last summer the Canadians signed Brandon Prust to a nice contract. He plays hard and fought most of the team's battles when needed. He did a good job but it is a lonely job if you are the only one doing it and you are undersized. Marc Bergevin saw the need to get him some help. This off season he brought in George Parros to take the pressure off Prust. I guarantee all the Habs are walking taller this season.

I don't care if Kassian gets suspended for one or ten games. I do care how the Oilers respond when they play him again. It is important for the team to not brush this over like nothing happened or it was an accident. The Oiler team can make a statement to not only the Canucks but all the teams in the league with some kind of a response.

Will someone stand up and say enough is enough?

5cf6b487166aced0cd781e41bfef915e
Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#1 Oil_Dude
September 23 2013, 08:54AM
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Hey Struds as a player does having an enforcer in the lineup change your mindset? If so where do you stand on the "fighting doesn't belong in the game anymore"argument?

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#2 sizzler
September 23 2013, 09:01AM
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Oilers have let this kind of incidents slide way to often in past few years. Fighting Zack Kassian in the next game is not the answer either. Need to become a tough team, need to be able to hit other teams skilled players.

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#3 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 23 2013, 09:07AM
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No to the nuclear heavyweights. Yes to a fuctional tough guy. There's always time for a tough guy that can play real minutes and a semi regular shift. As soon as I got to know Eakins more, I immediately wished we had kept Peckham for another half season.

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#4 Dawn
September 23 2013, 09:08AM
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It seems to me that taking it in the chops time after time has got be at least as hard on the team psyche as all that losing has been. I hope Dallas has the answer for that too. Can he coach the guys into everyone standing up for themselves and each other?

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#5 Quicksilver ballet
September 23 2013, 09:15AM
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Who are we to tell Six rings Lowe how to build a "winner" when it comes to building a successfull hockey club?

Just shut up and make sure your ticket payments go through when due. Shut the puck up you bunch of whiners. We're already getting much more than we deserve for our money. Know your role, ya bunch of sheep.

All the suspensions that'll be handed out in the coming days. Are these reg season games, or irrelevant pre season games/both?

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#6 Will
September 23 2013, 09:17AM
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Struds I'm pretty sure MacT tried to bring in David Clarkson, Clutterbuck, and other functional tough guys last year. But unless they can play with our skill, what;s the point.

I really think you're glossing over the fact that all their running around lead to a bunch of powerplays. It was also pre season so win or lose it doesn't matter. The best enforcer will always be a deadly power play.

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#7 wazy08
September 23 2013, 09:19AM
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Where is Jody Shelley? Literally dress him for 30 games this season with the understanding that if someone gets looked at funny he knows his role. If someone pulls a Kassian on Gagner, that not only is Kassian responsible but perhaps the Sedins or Kesler are also held accountable for Kassian/Weises actions. The Oilers need to rock a Brown/Shelley type of players in their lineup. Tired of a soft team thats gonna keep having players injured because they dont stand up for themselves. I agree 100% with you Strudwick. PP's are nice, but what are you gonna do when your star PP players are all on LTR.

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#8 blue31
September 23 2013, 09:20AM
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I am onside with a nuclear deterrent.

For all those who say "let the Oilers get pushed around, we will just beat the opposition with powerplay goals," I ask: Is a goal, or even two points in the standings worth losing a Gagner for 2 months?

Dave Brown, where are you?

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#9 Rotten Ron
September 23 2013, 09:21AM
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Alberts was laying out someone seemed like every shift. Labarbera gets snowed 5 guys skate to the bench without batting an eye. Hall gets hit to the head Smyth and Hemsky go stand around Weise just because they think thats whats expected. Brown steps up as usual at least they got one solid team mate. 6 soft players on the blue line doesnt cut it. What do Smith and Buchberger tell these guys when they get to the bench after something like snowing the goalie happens and nobody even give them a second look?

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#10 Ca$h-Money!
September 23 2013, 09:26AM
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Marc Savard...

On his team when he got permanently injured:

Chara Lucic Thornton

2 of the biggest, most "functionally" tough guys on the planet, and a pure enforcer. I'm also pretty sure one of (or both) Lucic and Chara were on the ice when it happened. Can't confirm that but I recall someone mentioning it.

When SMac was on the team (toughest guy in the league) we lost almost all of our skill guys for 10 games or more due to injury.

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#11 Colonel Obvious
September 23 2013, 09:27AM
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You know this doesn't work right?

It is a demonstrable fact that tough guys do not protect your players and that they do not prevent injuries. Look at the evidence. It is undeniable.

But if you are evidence adverse just look at what happened Saturday night. Brown made Weise "pay the price" for his attempted hit on Hall before Kassian hit Gagner in the face.

The only thing that will ever stop this kind of thing is the NHL getting serious about suspensions.

In the meantime, the answer isn't to get someone to intimidate Kassian into behaving. Nothing is ever going to do that. Instead, send Brown after Edler, not to intimidate him but to put him in the hospital. Then the next time you play the Canucks call up some AHL thugs whose job isn't to fight but to put one of the Sedins in the hospital. Fighting Kassian or Weise is a giant waste of time.

I'm not really in favour of that move but at least it has a chance it would work.

The toughness mafia of the NHL has gotten out of control. They want violence but not real violence. Me, I could do without the violence however if the NHL and the Gregors of the world insist it is part of the game then I say bring up some real thugs and do real damage to the players the other team can't afford to lose.

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#12 Ryan2
September 23 2013, 09:27AM
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Instead of going after Kassian or Alberts, they need to run the Sedins, Kessler or one of the other top players on the Nucks. The last time I can remember the Oilers doing this was a Detroit game two years ago where the Wings disturbers were running around and Kronwall gave Hemsky one of his borderline hits. The next shift Smid took a penalty (short handed due to an extra minor for someone going after Kronwall) for cross checking Zetterberg down along the boards then hammering away at him a few more times. He yelled at their bench that their start players would pay if they went after the Oilers' skill guys. If I recall correctly, someone also took a good run at Datsyuk but just missed. The message had been sent, and Detroit's disturbers were quiet after that. Too bad the Oilers only play like that once every season or two.......

As for Kronwall, later in the game Commodore had to take some punches for him in a fight that he had no business being in.

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#13 Reg Dunlop
September 23 2013, 09:30AM
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Will wrote:

Struds I'm pretty sure MacT tried to bring in David Clarkson, Clutterbuck, and other functional tough guys last year. But unless they can play with our skill, what;s the point.

I really think you're glossing over the fact that all their running around lead to a bunch of powerplays. It was also pre season so win or lose it doesn't matter. The best enforcer will always be a deadly power play.

What's the point? What's the point in having a bunch of small, skilled guys if they are constantly injured or intimidated to the point that their skill is only on display when PP opportunities arise(which will be seldom when refs put away the whistles later this season). Does anyone remember how much tougher Peckham and Stortini were when Glencross was here? Time to get someone to ride shotgun for Brown.

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#14 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 09:32AM
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"I think the issue is with the lack of overall toughness in the Oilers lineup. Players like Kassian have no fear in playing the Oilers extra tough. Who outside of Mike Brown can stand up to a guy like Kassian or Andrew Alberts? Both these guys were running around Saturday night in Edmonton like there was no reason to be afraid! They're big guys, but nothing to lose sleep over unless a team like the Oilers doesn't have guys to match up to them with."

I honestly understand the sentiment here. It's a conventional wisdom that's worn more than a few tires down past all-weather conditions.

But, it is complete nonsense. All one need do is watch hockey to understand that the crippling injuries suffered by freak accident or horrible goonery have nothing to do with whether the offending team/player concerns themselves/himself with the tough guys opposite.

Smac prevented nothing when he was here.

As someone at LT's mentioned: Chara, Lucic and Thornton... not one of them prevented Savard's injury.

This never works.

By all means acquire an actual hockey player who can play with an edge. By all means.

But don't delude yourself into thinking this will prevent injury or goonery. This is simply wishful thinking.

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#15 OilFanInBC
September 23 2013, 09:33AM
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This just in from Bob Macenzie via Twitter,

“Is this good time to note EDM, which was looking for super heavyweight BEFORE last night, is now ramping up that search.”

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#16 Manfly
September 23 2013, 09:33AM
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the problem is, Jason, that the Oilers can't really as a team respond physically...they just aren't tough enough as a team to do it. so if, for now, the Oilers can continue to make the Canucks pay on the scoreboard, then i'm cool with that. who won the last 2 meetings again between the Canucks and Oilers, including the game on Saturday when the Canucks dressed all their goons and big guys....the Oilers!! let's hope they can continue to do so in the regular season as well!

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Amen, brotha!

This team has been getting its lunch money stolen for a good long time now.

Hallsy, Ebs, Gagner... all the kids got run on Saturday. And not much happened.

I'm puzzled by the people that are saying this isn't the 90's, and that an enforcer is useless.

Bring in two knuckle dragging gorillas and let them loose. Screw the whole "I challenger you, sir, to a duel!" and "Yeah, but can he play hockey?" BS. Let them jump Alberts from behind and pound him in. Let them sucker Kassian in a scrum.

And if the Oilers lose a couple because of it, so be it. At least they're not rolling over.

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#18 Rotten Ron
September 23 2013, 09:36AM
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Ca$h-Money! wrote:

Marc Savard...

On his team when he got permanently injured:

Chara Lucic Thornton

2 of the biggest, most "functionally" tough guys on the planet, and a pure enforcer. I'm also pretty sure one of (or both) Lucic and Chara were on the ice when it happened. Can't confirm that but I recall someone mentioning it.

When SMac was on the team (toughest guy in the league) we lost almost all of our skill guys for 10 games or more due to injury.

That was one hit. Watch any other team in the league and let me know when you see anyone else get pushed around for 60 minutes in their own building like we seen saturday. You think playing a bunch of push overs doesnt give other teams a huge boost of confidence and affect their play positively?

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#19 Truth
September 23 2013, 09:36AM
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I love that blog commentators are telling an ex NHL player that enforcers do not work and do not have value. Players feel more comfortable having one on their bench and less comfortable knowing there is an enforcer on the other teams bench. Especially when they know their team doesn't have an answer.

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#20 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 09:40AM
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FINALLY!!!

The voice of reason from someone who played the game!!

I think that what the Oilers Nation conversation about team toughness lacks is pragmatism. People argue that their point of view is right forever and for always. Their arguments don't take into consideration the CIRCUMSTANCES of any given team.

Is the need for goonary in this league dissipating over time due to things like rule changes, the speed of the game etc,?? Of course it is!

Some people argue that teams like Chicago or Pittsburgh win championships without the goon factor. YES yes they do....but they have team toughness, several guys who although not goons can still fight, and they are mature teams!,...their star players are MEN.....physically mature...been around the block several times...MEN....

Can the Oilers ice a team without an enforcer, or at least a Mike Brown and a "Mike Browns Bigger Brother".....maybe someday....maybe even someday soon!.......But not today......today we have a team of young, physically immature (relatively speaking) highly skilled players. In the short term, and temporarily, you HAVE to strike a balance...based on the circumstances of YOUR TEAM....not based on some philosophical argument about the merits of fighting or eliminating fighting. And not based on statistics or perceived bearing that fighting has as a deterrent.

Just based on its specific history, the Oilers find themselves at a time and place where, until they reach the desired balance of physical toughness, which maybe a year or two or even three....where the Fantastic Five are in their mid twenties, and we've got at least two or three other veterans who can scrap and play hockey, something has to give.......

Glad to hear Jason Strudwick standing up as the voice of reason here.....and to think....that voice....coming from a FIGURE SKATER!!!......go FIGURE! (skater)

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#21 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 23 2013, 09:41AM
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I can't remember if it was Pierre Page or Brian Sutter, but years ago, during the flames YoungGun years, they had just lost a game against Detroit. Post game one of the reporters asked why he wasnt playing Rocky Thompson more. The response? Because every time I do Bowman just shift changes and throws out Yzerman and Fedorov.

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#22 steelymac
September 23 2013, 09:41AM
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Regardless of management finding muscle to take care of the Kassians in the league,I sure as hell hope Ben Eager can catch the sisters and Kesler in the trolly tracks next time we play them.I firmly believe if they want to run our guys they better excpect their stars will be getting a lickin back.Paybacks a bitch and I don't endorse anything against the rules but if Big Ben takes four strides instead of three and there is a charging call,Im cool with that.Tit for Tat.

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#23 Haajarverle
September 23 2013, 09:45AM
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I love all the people telling Struds how the game works. Give your head a shake. The impact of someone who will stand up for their teammate isn't something that is necessarily a 'demonstrable fact'. How do you measure the added confidence of your skill players? I think 'The Code:The unwritten rules of Fighting and retaliation in the NHl' should be required pre reading for this discussion.

And I too miss Peckham for this. The fastest you ever saw him skate was when he was flying in from the blue line with gloves off after someone took a run at the kids. And yes, I know he wasn't a perfect defenseman. I really wish we'd put more effort into his development instead of keeping below average guys like Potter.

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#24 madjam
September 23 2013, 09:48AM
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Oilers sent a clear message to opposition again by last games antics . The Oilers can take more , but still sadly lack defending their own or instigating/implimating a physical game . Run the Oilers and throw them off their skill game will still run true again this year with present makeup . Management does not give this situation it's due diligence . We need two deterrents , not just one because of our makeup and nature of players . Brown tried but did not fare well against Weise . Kassian we have no answer for , and may further injure another player trying to do so . MacT. was supposed to address this gap , but still has not succeeded in doing so . Till then , our players are like sitting ducks to opposition toughness . Most teams have depth at functional toughness or better , we sadly lack far behind all the others . We need more toughness still to neutralize how teams continually play us . If not we are headed back to cellar of league until we do . I believe MacT. and Eakins are sadly mistaken if they feel present core can overcome it's softness label .

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#25 bdiddy18
September 23 2013, 09:51AM
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At the time of the injury - and in the replay it looked like a inadvertant stick to the face which would mean some lost teeth.

thats how both team reacted to the play. If a more serious injury was known I'm sure even Ryan Smyth would have engaged Kassian to answer the bell.

Problem with a getting a guy who has cement hands for goal scoring but very useful for pounding a guy's head for retribution is that he probably also has cement legs and is a major liability out there (Steve MacIntyre) which means each time he is dressed you are literally playing one man short for the game.

And who cares about the meathead that hurts one of our players... I'd rather man up fight your own battles and don't take it out on that guy - send a message run their goalie!hit their top 6! in this game - hit a sedin.. you don't need a heavyweight to hit a sedin.

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#26 StHenriOilBomb
September 23 2013, 09:53AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Who are we to tell Six rings Lowe how to build a "winner" when it comes to building a successfull hockey club?

Just shut up and make sure your ticket payments go through when due. Shut the puck up you bunch of whiners. We're already getting much more than we deserve for our money. Know your role, ya bunch of sheep.

All the suspensions that'll be handed out in the coming days. Are these reg season games, or irrelevant pre season games/both?

The suspensions, as I read yesterday (searching for the link), will be effective during the regular season, and anyone suspended will also miss the rest of preseason until his suspension has been served.

How was the deck building?

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#27 Rob...
September 23 2013, 09:57AM
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So Kassian gets between 5 and 10 games from Shanaban. The best thing to come out of this is that the amoral goon now has to consider the length of his NEXT suspension every time he thinks about doing something stupid. That will be more of a deterrent than the Oilers bringing in a legit enforcer.

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#28 Walter Sobchak
September 23 2013, 10:01AM
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I'm with Rom on this, a payer like SMac or Lucic would not have stopped a goon play Kassian.

Until the NHL rewrites the instigator rule, the players will continue to have little respect for the game and each other.

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#29 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:06AM
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Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 1m Oil claim Mcintyre

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#30 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 10:08AM
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Rotten Ron wrote:

That was one hit. Watch any other team in the league and let me know when you see anyone else get pushed around for 60 minutes in their own building like we seen saturday. You think playing a bunch of push overs doesnt give other teams a huge boost of confidence and affect their play positively?

People who have played the game know that you're right Ron.

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#31 Rama Lama
September 23 2013, 10:09AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

"I think the issue is with the lack of overall toughness in the Oilers lineup. Players like Kassian have no fear in playing the Oilers extra tough. Who outside of Mike Brown can stand up to a guy like Kassian or Andrew Alberts? Both these guys were running around Saturday night in Edmonton like there was no reason to be afraid! They're big guys, but nothing to lose sleep over unless a team like the Oilers doesn't have guys to match up to them with."

I honestly understand the sentiment here. It's a conventional wisdom that's worn more than a few tires down past all-weather conditions.

But, it is complete nonsense. All one need do is watch hockey to understand that the crippling injuries suffered by freak accident or horrible goonery have nothing to do with whether the offending team/player concerns themselves/himself with the tough guys opposite.

Smac prevented nothing when he was here.

As someone at LT's mentioned: Chara, Lucic and Thornton... not one of them prevented Savard's injury.

This never works.

By all means acquire an actual hockey player who can play with an edge. By all means.

But don't delude yourself into thinking this will prevent injury or goonery. This is simply wishful thinking.

Hey Mr. Know it All.........since you know everything about hockey how about how about asking the players how they feel about having some deterrence?

I suspect all of them would endorse having Steve Mac back!

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#32 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:12AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Hey Mr. Know it All.........since you know everything about hockey how about how about asking the players how they feel about having some deterrence?

I suspect all of them would endorse having Steve Mac back!

The psychological value I'm happy to acknowledge. People consistently claim it has value. I'm not going to quarrel with it.

BUT... the actual empirical claims made have never yielded results.

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#33 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:13AM
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MacT just got dumber in the last 48 hours.

SMac is the wrong way to go.

Memories of Tambo putting in a claim on Volpatti but watching Hall and Jussi J float down the river while our center depth was non-existent.

Same old, same old.

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#34 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 10:15AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

MacT just got dumber in the last 48 hours.

SMac is the wrong way to go.

Memories of Tambo putting in a claim on Volpatti but watching Hall and Jussi J float down the river while our center depth was non-existent.

Same old, same old.

Yeah we get it.....you're smarter than Mac T....

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#35 Spydyr
September 23 2013, 10:16AM
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Say you have 30 million in gold (the Kids) 5 x 6=30 million by the time the all sign wouldn't you protect it?

Or would you rather have someone steal it from you?

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#36 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 23 2013, 10:16AM
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@DSF

Brutal

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#37 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 10:18AM
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Rob... wrote:

So Kassian gets between 5 and 10 games from Shanaban. The best thing to come out of this is that the amoral goon now has to consider the length of his NEXT suspension every time he thinks about doing something stupid. That will be more of a deterrent than the Oilers bringing in a legit enforcer.

I agree with you Rob about the next suspension being a deterrent ....

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#38 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:19AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

MacT just got dumber in the last 48 hours.

SMac is the wrong way to go.

Memories of Tambo putting in a claim on Volpatti but watching Hall and Jussi J float down the river while our center depth was non-existent.

Same old, same old.

Maybe he was never as smart as you thought he was.

Not addressing the lack of centre depth over the summer and halfway through the pre-season while stockpiling 37 bottom pairing defensemen would seem to indicate that is true.

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#39 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 23 2013, 10:19AM
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Lowetide is going to have a bad day. MacT lied to him!

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#40 Spydyr
September 23 2013, 10:19AM
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DSF wrote:

Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 1m Oil claim Mcintyre

a link to the story

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/09/23/edmonton-oilers-claim-steve-macintyre-on-waivers/

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#41 JJ
September 23 2013, 10:20AM
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Dumb move, but I guess this means Brown is redundant now?

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#42 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:20AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

The psychological value I'm happy to acknowledge. People consistently claim it has value. I'm not going to quarrel with it.

BUT... the actual empirical claims made have never yielded results.

Attempting to measure intimidation empirically is tilting at wind mills.

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#43 Truth
September 23 2013, 10:20AM
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SMACK IS BACK! Kassian would need to have stones made of diamond if he didn't feel nervous before their next matchup (provided he's not suspended)

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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

"I think the issue is with the lack of overall toughness in the Oilers lineup. Players like Kassian have no fear in playing the Oilers extra tough. Who outside of Mike Brown can stand up to a guy like Kassian or Andrew Alberts? Both these guys were running around Saturday night in Edmonton like there was no reason to be afraid! They're big guys, but nothing to lose sleep over unless a team like the Oilers doesn't have guys to match up to them with."

I honestly understand the sentiment here. It's a conventional wisdom that's worn more than a few tires down past all-weather conditions.

But, it is complete nonsense. All one need do is watch hockey to understand that the crippling injuries suffered by freak accident or horrible goonery have nothing to do with whether the offending team/player concerns themselves/himself with the tough guys opposite.

Smac prevented nothing when he was here.

As someone at LT's mentioned: Chara, Lucic and Thornton... not one of them prevented Savard's injury.

This never works.

By all means acquire an actual hockey player who can play with an edge. By all means.

But don't delude yourself into thinking this will prevent injury or goonery. This is simply wishful thinking.

The hypocrisy in this comment (and a few others) is ludicrous!

MacTavish said it a number of times - "functional tough guys" are hard to acquire. Perhaps that's why he threw $5M/year at Clarkson.

When your options are limited, you do what you can, not contend "conventional wisdom" with "conventional wisdom."

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#45 Zamboni Driver
September 23 2013, 10:21AM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Absolutely right.

Oilers had two great heavyweights in the past. When they fought they were the best fighters.

PROBLEM

Georges didn't like it, and had no clue when to do it.

Macintyre is not a hockey player.

But alas, the "braintrust" with absolutely no fresh ideas goes back to Macintyre.

Oh boy.

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#46 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:21AM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Yeah we get it.....you're smarter than Mac T....

We all have gaps in knowledge and blindsides... MacT has done a lot of things that make a lot of sense.

He's very smart and has done a really solid job in a limited time.

BUT... leaving the C depth this weak was a poor decision and looks to be the product of over-valuing the hangers on down the chart (seems he really over valued Miller, Acro and Acton)

AND... when your already weak C depth gets shattered to the bone, you think your biggest concern is finding a guy who will accomplish nothing and play maybe 30% of the games for 2-3 minutes a night... is just plain ridiculous.

It doesn't invalidate him, his work or his smarts.

It's a classic case of I said you're "acting like a x" rather than you "are an x"

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#47 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:22AM
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DSF wrote:

Attempting to measure intimidation empirically is tilting at wind mills.

People claim it has real world results. It stops people from being run, hit, injured, etc.

Except it doesn't.

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#48 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 23 2013, 10:23AM
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DSF wrote:

Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 1m Oil claim Mcintyre

@Bob_Stauffer Steve MacIntyre is down to 245 pounds and in great shape. But I don't see the #Oilers claiming him on waivers

Rare miss for Bob on that one.

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#49 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:24AM
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DSF wrote:

Maybe he was never as smart as you thought he was.

Not addressing the lack of centre depth over the summer and halfway through the pre-season while stockpiling 37 bottom pairing defensemen would seem to indicate that is true.

Let's not get carried away here.

I've said all along that C depth is brutal.

But having a blindspot doesn't make someone dumb. It makes someone who, despite their smarts, acted dumb.

Thing is... time exists. MacT has a chance to address this issue, correct past mistakes and adapt... like all of us.

And, your point about D is ridiculous. Total nonsense. The two aren't related even. There is no zero sum game here. Adding competition to the D depth chart doesn't keep you from doing anything with the C position. That is total BS.

The D depth is MacT's shining achievement this offseason. Pretend it isn't all you want.

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#50 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:26AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

People claim it has real world results. It stops people from being run, hit, injured, etc.

Except it doesn't.

People who make those claims can't prove it...the same problem you face when you try and insist it had no value.

Ask the players...like Jason Strudwick... who outlined it's value in the above article.

Or perhaps you're insinuating he doesn't know what he's talking about.

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